Warehouse management is serious business and productivity is key to securing long-term success.
However, with so many variables – staffing, scheduling and design – as well as the more serious issues of health and safety, it can be difficult to know which to focus on first.
We’ve outlined some areas which could help your warehouse become more productive.
1. Employ a competent warehouse manager. It may sound simple, but ensuring that the person who manages your warehouse is as efficient and competent as possible will make all the difference. You need someone who not only understands the sales, logistics and health and safety aspects of the job, but who can also bring these together to create a slick customer-focused operation.
2. Invest in an effective warehouse management system. It may seem like money you don’t want to spend, but with warehouses requiring more sophisticated, quality warehouse storage solutions, it really does pay to know what stock is available, what needs reordering and most importantly – where it is located. Investing in the technology now, will save you valuable time and money in labour costs and order fulfilment in the long run.
For Industrial Shelving Ireland is well-served, with firms such as Rackzone offering plenty of choice (https://www.rackzone.ie/shelving/industrial-residential-shelving).
3. Do the maths. By working out which storage solutions you need and knowing how to maximise space (for example by going up and not out), you are then best placed to be efficient and to ensure rotation and replenishment is optimised. Taking the time to think about whether you need compressed shelves, narrow aisles, specific racking systems or other materials, really will make all the difference.
4. Work out the baselines. After putting in all this hard work, make sure you set up baselines to know just how you will measure how productive you are being. Use the information from before such as re-ordering timescales, delivery timescales and feedback from warehouse staff to understand how the process was before, which will enable you to measure just how much more productive it is now. There is no point in trying to be more productive, if you can’t measure it against anything.
Once such basics are in place, you can then drill down into more specific forms of warehouse productivity and increase your performance even further.